This afternoon I drove to the post office as I do every day (doesn’t everyone go to the post office every day?) and when I came out empty-handed (the lack of rejections somehow bother me as much as the lack of acceptances—analyze that!) and got back in my car, I was approached on the driver’s side by a man.
Fool that I am, I roll down the window. (I must have a HUGE sign that either says “Come and get me cuz I will make it easy and do most of the work for you,” or “sucker.”)
“Yes?” I ask the man.
“I need money,” the man says. He then tells me he’s hungry and he hasn’t eaten and he’s living in a home and he needs money.
I dig in my purse and hand him some money. Not a lot. But yes, I do hand him some money. Because I don’t know what else to do. Because here I am in this nice car, with a nice home and a loving family and a lovely life and so how can I close my fist around a few dollars?
But still. Still, I am aware of the fact that the man probably scoped me out. He probably knew that the surprise factor would work in his favor. And that made me just a little mad.
So what did I do?
“Let me offer you some advice,” I say with a frown. “Don’t ever approach a woman alone in her car like this again or you are liable to get mace in the face or something equally as unpleasant.”
Of course, Bite me is what he probably said as he walked away.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.